‘The Pact on Migration and Asylum has disappointed our hopes for a sharp change in direction by the European Commission. Migrants’ right are the last thing this document is worried about, and it demeans even further the European Union’s founding values and the international rules on asylum.’
This is what EMERGENCY had to say on the European Commission’s much-awaited Pact on Migration and Asylum, presented by President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels.
‘If we want to talk about solidarity, this pact may show it towards the Mediterranean countries, by alleviating the pressure, above all on public opinion, from the people arriving, but it certainly doesn’t show it towards migrants,’ EMERGENCY went on. ‘The much-awaited update on the Dublin Regulation has turned out be another injustice. If it’s true that migrants are going to be spread around all the countries of the EU and not obliged to stay in the one they land in, those countries are still going to be the ones responsible for the first screening, which risks turning them into vast, unpleasant waiting rooms. There’s been no attempt to step away from the agreements with Libya, whose human rights violations are clearly seen as acceptable as long as it acts as a barrier to Fortress Europe.
‘Giving the more hostile countries the chance to pick between taking part in the distribution mechanism and paying to repatriate migrants proves that the EU has lost its sense of the value of human life and is bartering the rights of desperate people on the costs of repatriating them,’ EMERGENCY concludes. ‘As has happened in the past, journeys themselves are no longer considered a determining factor in access to asylum. Geographical origin is prioritised and the artificial and surely unjust distinction between desperation born of poverty and desperation born of war is maintained. Once again, there is no trace of a structural plan to manage legal immigration and no programme of search and rescue at sea, probably because they are under the illusion that they can manage the phenomenon of migration as a clearly defined emergency and not as a natural phenomenon that is impossible to stop.’